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Parsnip and Stilton Tart

I hope you all had as enjoyable a Christmas as we did. When it comes to it – provided you are still on your feet – all that work beforehand somehow seems worth it, and the bonus for the cook is that there is enough food around afterwards to make shopping seem like a bad memory. Our absolute favourite post-Christmas meal is cold ham and turkey with Brussels sprout bubble-and-squeak and homemade piccalilli. Followed by warmed up Christmas pudding! Bliss. Apart from one football match (fortunately at home – last year we had to travel all the way to Sheffield on Boxing Day), we have barely stirred from the house, except to stake out an extension to our pond. It has become such a haven for wildlife - ducks, geese, moorhens – that we thought they needed a bit more living space. The contractors have promised to do it before the end of January so as not to interfere with their breeding season. And while we’re on the subject I can’t resist showing you the ducks skating on the ice in the early morning last week (right).

I promised a leftover recipe for this week, although this one certainly doesn’t taste like a leftover. If you can get hold of a Saxby’s frozen pastry case, it comes in its own aluminium container, which cuts down even further what little work is involved here.

 Parsnip and Stilton Tart

  Serves 4

 1 x 230g Saxby’s pastry flan case
 6 oz (175g) cooked parsnips
 6 oz (175 g) Stilton
 2 large eggs
 4 fl oz (100ml) double cream
 Salt and freshly milled black pepper
  Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 6, 400F, 200C.
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First of all beat the eggs, then use a little of the beaten egg to brush the surface of the flan case lightly. Now prick the base with a fork in a few places and pop the flan case into the oven to pre-bake for 20 minutes. Meanwhile chop up the parsnips fairly small into a bowl and crumble the Stilton into small pieces, then mix them in with the parsnips.

When the flan case is ready, arrange the parsnips and Stilton in it and season with pepper and just a little salt. Beat the eggs and cream together, season and pour the mixture over the parsnips and Stilton. Bake in the centre of the oven for 35 minutes or so, until the top is browned and bubbling. Leave it to cool a little, then serve with a salad and some chutney.


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